Storing small engine equipment has changed in the last couple of years due to the use of ethanol in gasoline. This additive can harm your engine's fuel system, if not treated properly.
If you perform the following end of season storage procedures, you should prevent any fuel related issues at the start of next season.
1. Remove and dispose of old fuel from the unit.
2. Add a high octane gasoline with the correct oil mix ratio for your equipment, and a Fuel Stabilizer to the fuel tank. Only add enough fuel to run for a couple of minutes.
3. Start up the unit and run the engine until it's out of gas. After the engine stops, pull the starter cord a couple of times until the engine no longer sputters from gas remnants left in the fuel system.
4. The next step is to remove the spark plug, spray a lubricant into the spark plug hole, and pull the starter cord a few times. This will lubricate the engine's cylinder parts. Reinstall the spark plug. Your equipment is now ready for storage.
1. Remove and dispose of old fuel from the tank.
2. Add a high octane gasoline (only a small amount) with a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank. Preferably use a stabilizer with a fuel system cleaner and cylinder lubricant, such as SEAFOAM.
3. Start the engine and allow it to run for 5-10 minutes. This gives the stabilizer time to work through the entire fuel system.
4. Allow the engine to sit for 20-30 minutes if you used a stabilizer with a fuel system cleaner. This will also give it time to clean the ethanol residue and any other residual fuel remnants from the fuel system.
5. Restart the engine and run it until it's completely drained of gas.
6. Your next step is to remove the remaining fuel from the carburetor. This is done several ways depending on the manufacturer of your equipment. First you must find your carburetor's fuel bowl. You can find this by following the fuel line from your fuel tank to the engine.
Sometimes, draining your fuel system for storage can dry out the fuel lines and seals.
The ONLY safe way to store fuel in your equipment is to combine FRESH gas with a fuel stabilizer. Since fuel stabilizers can prolong the shelf-life of gas, it will be safe to leave the treated gas in your equipment during storage. This method protects against ethanol damage, and it prevents dry, cracked fuel lines and seals.
Run the treated fuel through the engine for a few minutes, then top off the tank. A full tank reduces the amount of air in the tank that can lead to condensation (water). If your equipment is in storage for more than 3 months, you should then drain the gas, just to play it safe.
Remember, fuel stabilizers only work properly if mixed with fresh fuel. Don't attempt to treat old stale fuel.
Jack's Safety Tips: Before servicing or repairing any power equipment, disconnect the spark plug and battery cables. Remember to wear appropriate safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris. View our Disclaimer.